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Readmission and mortality after hospitalization for myocardial infarction and heart failure

Ko DT, Khera R, Lau G, Qiu F, Wang Y, Austin PC, Koh M, Lin Z, Lee DS, Wijeysundera HC, Krumholz HM. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020; 75(7):736-46. Epub 2020 Feb 17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.12.026


Background — Readmission rates after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure (HF) hospitalizations have decreased in the United States since the implementation of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

Objectives — This study was designed to examine the temporal trends of readmission and mortality after AMI and HF in Ontario, Canada, where reducing hospital readmissions has not had a policy incentive.

Methods — The cohort was comprised of AMI or HF patients 65 years of age or older who had been hospitalized from 2006 to 2017. Primary outcomes were 30-day readmission and post-discharge mortality. Secondary outcomes included in-hospital mortality, 30-day mortality from admission, and in-hospital mortality or 30-day mortality post-discharge. Adjusted monthly trends for each outcome were examined over the study period.

Results — Our cohorts included 152,808 AMI and 223,283 HF patients. Age- and sex-standardized AMI hospitalization rates in Ontario declined 32% from 2006 to 2017 while HF hospitalization rates declined slightly (9.1%). For AMI, risk-adjusted 30-day readmission rates declined from 17.4% in 2006 to 14.7% in 2017. All AMI risk-adjusted mortality rates also declined from 2006 to 2017 with 30-day post-discharge mortality from 5.1% to 4.4%. For HF, overall risk-adjusted 30-day readmission was largely unchanged from 2006 to 2014 at 21.9%, followed by a decline to 20.8% in 2017. Risk-adjusted 30-day post-discharge mortality declined from 7.1% in 2006 to 6.6% in 2017.

Conclusions — The patterns of outcomes in Ontario are consistent with the United States for AMI, but diverge for HF. For AMI and HF, admissions, readmissions, and mortality rates declined over this period. The reasons for the country-specific patterns for HF need further exploration.

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